HIGHLIGHTS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES TESTIMONY On Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009

“In the past decade, we see a stronger workforce in every sense.  We are instilling a more enduring sense of loyalty and commitment, and helping to motivate our LGBT employees to be all they can be and to bring their whole identity to work.  We never saw this as a special case or privilege, but simply doing the right thing in a business setting that underscores fairness, equity and inclusion.”

— Carolyn E. Wright, American Airlines

WHO: Carolyn E. Wright, Vice President, Corporate Human Resources, American Airlines, Fort Worth , Texas

WHAT: Legislative Hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Key witnesses include Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, former Ambassador Michael Guest, and others.

WHY:  A majority of Fortune 500 corporations today extend employment benefits equally to same-sex partners that are available to married couples.  American Airlines  was invited to testify at today’s hearing because of its private sector expertise on diversity, inclusion and benefits policies that include LGBT households.

[The complete testimony is available at www.witeckcombs.com/aarainbow/testimony-07-08-09.pdf]

Highlights of American Airlines testimony:

“American recognizes that being a global airline means we are in the business of connecting people and cultures from around the world.  Our company will only be successful if the experience we deliver, and the environment we create, is safe, welcoming and respectful of everyone.  American also recognizes the relationships among its customers, employees, business partners and suppliers, and the communities that we serve.  We must embrace the diversity that exists within each of our key constituencies, and operate in an inclusive manner, for all of these groups to thrive.

“As a company that bears the name “American,” we also know that much is expected of us, and we hold ourselves to a high standard.  From hiring the industry’s first African-American flight attendant in 1963, to the first female pilot in 1973, to the creation of our supplier diversity program in the 1980s and our multicultural sales teams in the 1990s, American has a long history of leadership.  We also know that promoting diversity is a journey, and American is committed to making further progress as we weave it into the very fabric of our company.

“Philosophically, we have always tried to recognize employees as individuals with their own families’ needs, talents and ambitions.  All deserve equal respect and acceptance for the true worth and unique experiences and skills they bring to their jobs.  We determined that treating employees in committed relationships with same-sex partners as a family, rather than as single people, was consistent with that philosophy.  So, in 2000, we became the first major airline to offer benefits to the same-sex partners of our employees as we had long done for married spouses.

“What are the upsides?  In the past decade, we see a stronger workforce in every sense.  We are instilling a more enduring sense of loyalty and commitment, and helping to motivate our LGBT employees to be all they can be and to bring their whole identity to work.  We never saw this as a special case or privilege, but simply doing the right thing in a business setting that underscores fairness, equity and inclusion.

“In our diverse segment marketing strategies, we now can tell a more complete story to all customers about our welcome that is authentic and meaningful.  There is no question that it helps us to be a much stronger contender as a world-class marketing organization during this very difficult economy.  We know all of our customers consider service, value, convenience and comfort.  However, in a very competitive market, we have learned that many appreciate inclusion and equal respect, too.

“… we can report that America ’s top corporations are showing the way on best practices.  According to research from the Human Rights Campaign, roughly 80% of the Fortune 100 now offers equal, same-sex partner benefits, and the same can be said of 57% of the Fortune 500.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning Web site, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the Oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

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